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Razor burn usually causes red bumps to form on a shaved area of the body. The bumps can be itchy and unpleasant to deal with. One way to treat razor burn is to apply healing creams to the area afterward. Another way to treat it is to take steps to prevent it in the first place.
Hydrocortisone cream is one way to treat razor burn. It is a corticosteroid usually used to treat a variety of skin irritations and inflammations. After shaving, a person should apply a small amount of the cream to the razor-burned area. Hydrocortisone is available in 1 or 2 percent concentrations over the counter or in higher strengths with a prescription.
A certain amount of care should be exercised when using hydrocortisone to treat the condition. If used too frequently, it can actually make the condition worse, as the skin acclimates to it. It can also cause the skin to thin if used for too long a time. Razor burn will usually clear up after two applications of hydrocortisone. If it does not, a person should try another treatment.
Certain astringents can be used to treat razor burn. After shaving, a person can try applying an astringent that contains salicylic acid to the area to prevent and clear up any razor burn. The acid in the astringent exfoliates the top layer of dead skin, freeing any ingrown hairs. It also kills any bacteria that causes razor burn on the skin. Astringents containing witch hazel or benzyol peroxide can also help treat razor burn.
Sometimes, preventing razor burn and bumps is the best way to treat them. If a person frequently experiences razor burn from shaving, she may consider changing her hair removal technique. Waxing usually does not result in bumps or irritation. Though it does cost more than shaving, it also lasts for several weeks instead of only a day or two.
A person can also use a chemical depilatory to remove hair. Depilatories cause hair to dissolve, which does not damage the follicle as much as shaving. Some people may experience irritation from chemical hair removers, so they are not for everyone.
Making slight adjustments to shaving technique may also help prevent and treat razor burn. If razor burn is a problem, a person should try reversing the direction she shaves. Although a closer shave is usually obtained when the razor is pulled against the hair, irritation is less likely if she shaves in the direction hair grows. Using a fresh, sharp razor, shaving cream or gel instead of soap, and shaving at the end of a shower or bath can also prevent razor burn.
I used to get razor bumps and razor burn all the time, and I'd use a medicated astringent lotion to help with the redness and discomfort. I knew the razor bumps were caused by ingrown hairs, but I couldn't figure out why I was getting razor burn every time I shaved.
I finally realized I wasn't changing out my disposable razors often enough, and I wasn't giving my shaving cream enough time to moisturize my skin. I started using disposable razors with moisturizing strips and gel shaving cream instead of foam. The results have been so much better. I think I was just in too much of a hurry to get the shaving done in the morning, and I also wanted to save money by reusing my old razors too long.
One thing I like to do is apply a pre-shave skin treatment to my face first. My wife got me a really nice men's grooming kit for Christmas, and it included a small bottle of this lotion meant for pre-treating my skin. I have a beard and mustache, so I only apply it to the areas I want to shave smooth. It's supposed to help retain moisture while shaving, which in turn helps prevent razor burn.